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Daily Business Report-Nov. 25, 2013

Daily Business Report-Nov. 25, 2013

The Nikon N-SIM approximately doubles the resolution of conventional optical microscopes

Scripps Research Institute Partners With Nikon

To Establish Advanced Microscopy Facility

The Scripps Research Institute and Nikon Instruments Inc. have opened the Nikon Center of Excelence, allowing the opportunity for TSRI researchers to probe more deeply and clearly into the microscopic elements of cells. According to Nikon officials, the partnership aims to lower the barriers for establishing a state-of-the-art microscopy facility and to enable a free exchange of ideas, methodologies and technologies


Graduate student George Campbell checks out the super-resolution microscope, which enables scientists to view intracellular structures and molecular activities, in TSRI’s new Nikon Center of Excellence. (Photo by Cindy Brauer.)

between TSRI investigators and Nikon’s development teams. Ulrich Mueller, director of the Dorris Neuroscience Center, said the partnership will provide researchers with rapid access to the most modern imaging technology currently available. “As an added advantage,” he said,  “we will be able to develop technological solutions to imaging problems that can be transformative for the research community as a whole.”

The imaging facility includes a newly installed Nikon N-SIM microscopy system, which produces nearly two times the resolution as conventional optical microscopes and enables detailed visualization of minute intracellular structures and their interactive functions.

Lyceum Theatre $2.2 Million Renovation Up for Vote

A $2.2 million renovation of public areas at the Lyceum Theatre will be considered for approval Wednesday by the Civic San Diego Board of Directors. According to a staff report, the project would involve remodeling two lobbies and four restrooms; replacing electrical and mechanical systems, and lighting; installing a backstage monitoring system; and putting in new carpeting.

The 27-year-old playhouse in Horton Plaza includes two theaters, one with 550 seats and the other with 250 seats. Besides stage plays, the venue is used for seminars, community presentations and art exhibitions.

More than 150,000 patrons visited the Lyceum in the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to the report.

The renovation project has been in the planning stages for five years and was approved in 2011. However, the project was delayed when the state dissolved redevelopment agencies.

The plan was revived by Civic San Diego, the Downtown planning body that took over from the old Centre City Development Corp. The San Diego Repertory Theatre manages the Lyceum under a lease agreement.

San Diego County Unemployment Rate at 7 Percent

The region gained 10,800 jobs in October

San Diego County’s unemployment rate in October was 7 percent, unchanged from September, but below the 7.5 percent it reached in August, the state Employment Development Department reported.

The report states that San Diego County gained 10,800 jobs over the month and 23,000 jobs over the year. The county unemployment rate is lower than California’s 8.3 percent rate and equals the national rate of 7.0 percent.

“The addition of jobs in San Diego County is always good news,” said Manpower San Diego President Phil Blair. “More people are reentering the job market because the economy is turning around and they should be able to find a position.”

The government sector reported the greatest increase in jobs, adding 6,400 positions with state government education accounting for much of that growth.

Additional jobs were added during the month in construction, financial, health, professional services (temporary staffing), and transportation sectors among others.

In San Diego County, manufacturing dropped by 500 jobs and tourism fell by 1,800 jobs for the month of October.

Development Services Director Named for City of San Diego

Robert Vacchi

Robert Vacchi

A man who has served the city of San Diego as a deputy city attorney, a deputy director of the Development Services Department and as a land development planner is the new director of the Development Services Department. Robert Vacchi, whose appointment was announced last week by Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, will start his new job on Dec. 7. The department is responsible for the land development code and permitting of construction projects, among othe responsibilities. Vacchi earned a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego, and has served on the city of San Diego Historical Resources Board, the San Diego Bar Association and the Peninsula YMCA Board.

Region is 15th in Commercial Real Estate Investment

San Diego keeps its place as the nation’s 15th best metro market for commercial real estate investment, according to a report from the PwC and the Urban Land Institute. San Diego’s market is fueled by continued technology-oriented job growth, notably, the region’s prominence as a West Coast center for sciences. Its current real estate recovery is expected to accelerate in 2014 and 2015, with the region’s employment surpassing its peak in 2014. Another advantage is the region’s high proportion of millennials, who make up about a quarter of the region’s population.

Discussion on Neighborhood Development

Voice of San Diego will host “Neighborhood Development — What Can We Actually Do?” on Dec. 10 at the old Snowflake Bakery, 701 16th St., in Downtown’s East Village. The 6 p.m. event will take a hard look at what the city can do to spur “neighborhood development” and how those actions may impact the array of diverse local stakeholders. A panel of local experts, including city of San Diego Planning Director Bill Fulton, will speak at the event.  Other speakers are Georgette Gomez, Environmental Health Coalition associate director; Kenneth Malbrough, Encanto Community Planning Group chair; and Lloyd Russell, local architect.

Professor Keith Trujillo with students.

Professor Keith Trujillo with students.

Cal State San Marcos Professor Honored

SAN MARCOS — The Society for Neuroscience has presented the Award for Education in Neuroscience to Keith A. Trujillo of California State University San Marcos. The prize, which includes $5,000, recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to neuroscience education and training. The award was presented at Neuroscience 2013, the organization’s annual meeting. “Dr. Trujillo has been tireless in helping students overcome barriers that might otherwise prevent them from pursuing careers in neuroscience,” said Larry Swanson, society president.

Trujillo’s commitment to diversifying the neuroscience workforce begins in his own research laboratory, where he studies the behavioral and neural effects of psychoactive drugs. There, he has mentored more than 30 students, nearly all from groups historically underrepresented in the sciences and many of whom have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees in neuroscience.

Sullivan Solar Power Cash Reward Program Closing Dec. 31

Sullivan Solar Power has announced that its solar incentive program — the Sullivan Cash Reward program — will expire on Dec. 31. The program offers 20 cents per watt up to $1,500 cash-back for going solar. The company said that, to date, more than 450 San Diego residents are benefitting from the Sullivan Cash Rewards program. This year, Sullivan Solar Power is paying out more than $520,000 in cash-back incentives from the participants that have already subscribed to the program. The company expects that the program will inject more than $600,000 into the San Diego economy when the program closes.

Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with a nonprofit organization, GRID Alternatives. For each property owner that goes solar with Sullivan Solar Power, the company will donate one-locally manufactured solar panel to the organization to install on low-income homes. “We expect that more than 90 families will receive free solar installations as a result of our company’s donations to GRID Alternatives,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president.

Higgs Attorney Chairs Immigration Commission

Donald Sheppard

Donald Sheppard

Donald Sheppard of Higgs Fletcher & Mack has been appointed chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Advisory Commission by the board of the State Bar of California. Sheppard, a member of the commission for the past three years, will serve a one-year term as chairman. The commission is responsible for assisting with the specialization program for immigration and nationality law.

Sheppard has more than 12 years of experience in immigration and nationality law representing both corporations and individuals. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and a frequent speaker at conferences addressing immigration and nationality issues.


City Sights is expected to be completed by mid-December.

City Sights is expected to be completed by mid-December.

Marriott’s Gaslamp Quarter Hotel

To Add ‘City Sights’ to Rooftop Lounge

By mid-December, San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter hotel in Downtown San Diego will offer a new feature to its Altitute Sky Lounge rooftop bar — 22 floors above the street. It’s called “City Sights,” which the hotel boasts will give patrons nearly 360-degree views of Downtown and beyond.

Located on the north side of Altitude Sky Lounge, City Sights will be identified by a glass-enclosed balcony. Features will include glass sliding doors that fully open to the balcony, an indoor socializing area with separate bar, modern modular furniture that can be adjusted for special events and bookings, and high top communal tables for those enjoying a drink on the balcony.

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Voice Your Opinion

We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: